By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team heads back out on the road for its third non-conference tournament of the season, taking part in the Bobcat Invitational in Athens, Ohio Friday and Saturday.
The Golden Eagles will square off with Loyola Maryland in a 3:30 p.m. CT match on Friday to kick off the weekend. The purple and gold will play a double dip on Saturday, taking on Bradley at 9:30 a.m. and host Ohio at 6:00 p.m. Tech's match against Ohio will be featured on ESPN3 while the other two tilts will be streamed on YouTube.
Friday, Sept. 9 – vs. Loyola Maryland, 3:30 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 10 – vs. Bradley, 9:30 a.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 10 – at Ohio, 6:00 p.m. | Live Video | Live Stats
The Golden Eagles picked up their first win of the season over the weekend, defeating Evansville 3-1 after falling to Northwestern and Western Carolina 3-1. After dropping the first set, Tech cruised to wins of 25-20, 25-13, and 25-15 over the final three to collect the win.
Middle blocker Skylar Boom proved to be the best player on the court for the purple and gold, earning Golden Eagle Invitational All-Tournament. The junior accounted for 29 kills and 12 blocks while hitting an impressive .333 for the week. In the team's win over Evansville, she posted the third-highest, four-set, attack percentage (.591) in Tech's rally-scoring era with 13 kills and zero errors. She added four blocks to the mix as well in the victory.
Sophomore Jazmine Yamilkoski was a huge spark for Tech, picking up Ohio Valley Conference Setter of the Week honors. With Tech trailing 2-0, she entered midway through the third set against WCU and proceeded to rack up 21 assists and a pair of blocks. Earning the starting nod against Evansville, she posted a double-double with team-highs of 47 assists and 10 digs, as well as two kills and four blocks. The team hit .246 with her quarterbacking the offense in six sets. For the week she averaged 11.33 assists, 2.17 digs, and 1.00 blocks per set.
Preseason All-OVC selection Taylor Dorsey continued to produce strong results and ranks second in the league with a .328 attack percentage. Boom and Dorsey rank seventh and ninth in the OVC in blocks per set, posting 0.83 and 0.79, respectively.
Libero McKenna Young ranks sixth in the conference with 3.58 digs per set while outside hitter Madolyn Isringhausen ranks fifth in the league with 0.46 service aces per set. The sophomore outside also ranks fourth in the OVC in kills per set with a mark of 3.04.
SCOUTING LOYOLA MARYLAND
(2022 record: 2-2, 0-0 Patriot | Series Record: 0-0 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 0-0)
The Greyhounds began the year at the Penn State Invitational where they finished 1-2 with a three-set win over Duquesne, a five-set loss to West Virginia, and a four-set loss to seven-time NCAA Champion Penn State. Lauren Link was named to the All-Tournament Team after 4.83 kills per set across the three matches.
Loyola then played a Tuesday night match at Coppin State, rallying from a first-set loss to beat the Eagles in three. Link had 22 kills in the match, while Megan Bukala and Caitlin Churney each knocked down 10.
This will mark the first-ever match-up between the Golden Eagles and Loyola Maryland.
(2022 record: 1-5, 0-0 MVC | Series Record: 1-0 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-0 | N: 1-0)
Bradley will venture to the state of Ohio for the first time since 2015 when the Braves went 3-0 to open the season in Toledo, Ohio, at the Rocket Invitational. Bradley has won its last four matches played in the Buckeye State, which includes a four-set win against St. Francis (Pa.) at the 2011 Akron Invitational. The Braves are 5-1 in their last six matches played in the state of Ohio (since 2011).
Freshman Kendall Minta earned all-tournament honors at last weekend's Reamer Club Xtra Special after hitting .419 and collecting 1.60 kills per set along with 1.10 blocks per set. Minta did not play in the season opener, but made her collegiate debut against Miami (Ohio) on Aug. 27 and has hit .300 or better in four of her five outings as a Brave.
This will mark just the second tilt ever between Tech and Bradley, with the purple and gold earning a neutral-site victory in 1996 in DeKalb, Ill.
(2022 record: 3-2, 0-0 MAC | Series Record: 2-1 | H: 0-0 | A: 0-1 | N: 2-0)
Ohio picked up all three of its victories on the season last weekend, sweeping the Green Wave Classic to move to 3-2 on the year. The Bobcats swept Kansas City, 3-0, and followed it up with 3-1 wins over Howard and host Tulane.
Olivia Margolies and Caitlin O'Farrell pace the Ohio offense, tallying 3.47 and 3.35 kills per set, respectively, while each hitting above .250. Margolies adds 2.53 digs and 0.47 service aces per set to the mix. Sam Steele leads the defensive side with 4.24 digs per set.
The Golden Eagles and Bobcats will meet for the fourth time in program history, with Tech owning a 2-1 advantage. The purple and gold are 2-0 in neutral-site match-ups while Ohio's lone victory came in the comfort of its own gym in Athens.
Tech will wrap up its non-conference schedule with a visit to Bowling Green, Ky. for the WKU Invitational Friday, Sept. 16 through Saturday, Sept. 17. The Golden Eagles will open with an 11:00 a.m. CT tilt against the host Lady Toppers on Friday and square off against Indiana in the evening with a 5:00 p.m. match-up. The purple and gold will wrap things up on Saturday with a noon affair against Texas A&M.
Photo by Emily Armstrong